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Sunday Shows Roundup: David Gauke would resign under a no-deal government

7 July 2019

2:37 PM

7 July 2019

2:37 PM

John McDonnell – Labour splits are ‘myths and rubbish’

Stories of deep division within the Labour party have appeared in this morning’s papers, with the Sunday Times reporting calls for two of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest advisers – Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy – to be sacked. Andrew Marr spoke to the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell – rumoured to be one of the dissenters – about the allegations:

JM: I’ve not said to sack anybody… In terms of the Sunday Times story about any splits between me and Jeremy, it’s myth, it’s rubbish. Jeremy and I go back 40 years, we’re the closest of friends…

AM: And you have full confidence in Seumas Milne and  Karie Murphy?

JM: Of course I do.

‘I want to campaign for Remain’

McDonnell made it clear where he personally stood on Brexit, but argued that Jeremy Corbyn was trying to play a longer game before declaring where he stood:


JM: Jeremy has made it clear we’re going to go back to the people [with] a referendum…  I [would] vote Remain, I want to campaign for Remain… What Jeremy is rightfully doing is… [saying] ‘Let’s talk to people, bring them together, build consensus, and then go for it.’

‘Let’s split No 11’ and move it to the North

McDonnell also put the case for a radical policy pronouncement, which would see considerable financial control devolved to the North of England. McDonnell has previously argued for the relocation of the Bank of England away from the capital, and elaborated on a similar proposal for the Treasury:

JM: For the past 3 years, I’ve been saying we’ve got to address the regional imbalances in terms of investment in our economy… We need to pour money into the North [with] investment long term on infrastructure [and] training… So I’m saying – let’s split No 11… Locate the decision makers and administrators in the North – better decisions will be made.

David Gauke – Some colleagues ‘not as candid as they might be’

The Justice Secretary told Marr that he had significant reservations about the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, and hinted that both of his party’s candidates for Prime Minister were maintaining a misplaced optimism until they crossed the finish line:

DG: I think there’s a lot of talk about [how] we need to prepare for no deal. One of the things that we would need to do is prepare the British people for the realities of no deal, and I don’t think all of my colleagues have been perhaps as candid about that as they might have been.

I would resign from a no deal government

Gauke continued by saying that he did not expect to continue serving in a government that pursued a no deal exit as an active policy choice:


AM: [Boris Johnson is] going to sack you, isn’t he?

DG: If Boris’s position is that he is going to require every member of the cabinet to sign up to being prepared to leave without a deal on 31st October… I would not support that policy, and I would resign in advance.

Liu Xiaoming – We are not interested in ‘diplomatic war’ with UK

With mass protests in Hong Kong making the headlines, Marr interviewed the Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming. Jeremy Hunt has refused to rule out sanctions against China if the authorities try to suppress the protests, a course of action he has referred to as ‘strategic ambiguity’:

LX: We are not interested in diplomatic war with the UK. We are still committed to building a stronger relationship, a partnership, the Golden Era, started by President Xi… But I cannot agree with the… description of the relationship [as] ‘strategic ambiguity’… It’s a Cold War mentality language.

 ‘There is no separation’ of parents and children

The conversation turned to the re-education camps that are being employed by the Chinese government in the country’s Muslim dominated province of Xinjiang. Research has suggested that the authorities are removing children from their parents in the camps to send them to new specially built boarding schools. Liu denied this was happening:

AM: Are they separating forcibly, parents from their children?

LX: No…

AM: So this is all just lies, is it?

LX: Yes, definitely. There is no separation of children from their parents, not at all.

Barry Gardiner – No confidence vote unlikely until autumn 

Sophy Ridge was joined by the Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner. Labour has previously indicated that it wishes to call a motion of no confidence in the next Prime Minister as early as day one of their administration, given that both of the candidates are considering a no deal Brexit. However, Gardiner’s response suggested that this possibility was not looking as achievable as they hoped:


BG: We will call a no confidence vote when we believe that those Conservative MPs who [want] to stop a no deal Brexit are likely to support us.

SR: Are you having those conversations with them?

BG: Of course…

SR: …From what you’re saying, that sounds like it’s more likely to be in the autumn?

BG: I don’t know.

Panorama programme ‘not a balanced and objective investigation’

Gardiner also defended his party’s use of non-disclosure agreements after Labour was found to have threatened legal action against several former party staffers. The staffers had spoken to the BBC for a Panorama documentary thought to be looking into anti-Semitism within the party:


BG: We absolutely do not use gagging orders to hide anything that is illegal or improper… My understanding is that it’s not a balanced and objective investigation into anti-Semitism. It is a very partial view from a few members of staff who have a political axe to grind.

Minette Batters – We don’t want to import ‘illegal’ food

The President of the National Farmers Union Minette Batters has argued that the merits of cheaper food that could be imported under a no deal Brexit are not as advantageous as they might seem:


MB: Globally, we are third in the world league table on affordable food… How much cheaper do we want our food to be? This is about food values, animal welfare and environmental protection… We don’t want to import food that would be illegal for our farmers to produce here… and every member of the public I speak to wants to retain those values.

Dominic Raab –Autumn general election ‘unlikely’

Dominic Raab, the former Tory leadership contender who is now backing Boris Johnson, has said that he believes an early election was not on the cards:


SR: [Do you think] Boris Johnson might call a sneaky election in the autumn to try and change the numbers [in Parliament]?

DR: No, I don’t think so. I think it’s unlikely, but you’d need to ask the team… The reality is that leaving the EU is set as the default mechanism in legislation by the end of October. I think it’s much more difficult that people are suggesting to try and overturn that.

Sam Gyimah – Tory no deal rebels could be ’30 plus’

And finally, Sam Gyimah, the former Universities Minister who ran for the Conservative leadership on a second referendum platform, has told Ridge that the number of his colleagues who could rebel if the incoming government supported a no deal Brexit would easily get into double figures:

SG: I think there are a lot of MPs on the Conservative side… that would use legislative options [to stop a new Prime Minister proroguing Parliament].

SR: Is that less than 10? More than 30?

SG: About 30 plus.


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